iOS10 explained

Tags: Gadgets

New features — including stickers and third-party apps — power the latest Apple update

IOS 10 is a milestone software update for iPhones, iPads or iPods from Apple. With myriads of new features, functions and tweaks, the latest release of this major mobile operating system has loads of interesting things to offer. This week we take a look at some of the interesting ones.

If you haven’t yet updated to 10 yet, hang on a sec! You may need to read the rest of this para carefully first: Have an iPhone 5, iPad 3, iPad mini 2 and iPod touch 6th gen or higher? You will find iOS 10 compatible with the devices. Anything older--or, let’s say anything that still uses the 30-pin charging cable--is off limits for you. So you will need to ramp up your hardware before you can revel in the benefits of the software upgrade.

Raise to Wake

If you’re using an iPhone 6S, iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone SE, iPhone 7 or iPhone 7 Plus, you can now wake up the phone’s screen by merely lifting it up. This can be a useful feature for checking the time as well as recent notifications with minimal effort. To switch the function on or off, go to Settings > Display & Brightness > Raise to Wake.

Unlock without pressing Home

Find pressing down on the Home button to unlock it too much of physical effort, eh? Venture into Settings, skim to General and get into Accessibility. Here, scroll down to Home Button and switch on Rest Finger to Open. This will let you open your iPhone with Touch ID without having to press down on the Home button. Just a firm touch will do.

Easy Access Camera

iOS 10 makes the iPhone’s camera easier than ever to access. No, you don’t have to unlock your iPhone to use its camera. Or look down, spot the camera icon to hit it. Simply swipe towards the right anywhere on the lockscreen and you’ll find yourself in the camera viewing screen, primed and ready to click.

Ahoy Shutterbugs!

iPhone photography enthusiasts will love the fact that Live Photos can now be edited without converting them to static images. Finding images is also easier with iOS 10. You can search for photos based on what's in them. A neat machine-learning algorithm scans your photos to auto-identify not just people, but also items, locations, and settings within the images. This helps the OS automagically cobble together themed photo albums for you. Serious photo buffs can shoot full-resolution RAW photos by default with iOS 10--not with the default Camera app, however. You will need apps like ProShot, Hydra, Adobe Lightroom, Camera+, and VSCO Cam, etc. for it.

iMessage Effects

The new OS brings in fun effects to iMessage. To use these, compose your text and then force-touch on the blue up arrow. You’ll see a list of fancy customisations like Slam, Loud, and Invisible Ink etc. You can now also tap and hold an iMessage to reply with a quick graphical reaction, like Haha or a thumbs up. Of course, you can’t do all this with non-iPhone users. If you hold your iPhone in landscape mode, you’ll find a few ready-to-send handwritten words as well. iOS 10 also incorporates 100 new emojis.

Photo Message Scribbles

While we are on the subject of fun and messages, did you know that you can now draw on photos before sending them? And why just photos, you can also scribble on videos. To do this, open Messages, select (or shoot) the image you want to beam across. Then tap "Markup" to doodle on it, save it, and send it to whoever you want. If you send someone a "happy birthday" iMessage, they get to see a little flying balloon animation.

Optimising Storage

If you have a 16GB iPhone, you must be mighty squeezed for space. A storage optimisation feature now automatically removes downloaded songs that you haven't played for some time from your phone’s music library. To set this up, go to Settings > Music > Optimize Storage.

App Attack

Speaking about creating space, not all of us find use for apps like Stocks, News, and Compass etc. that Apple pre-installs on the iPhone. Hitherto, iOS wouldn’t allow you to get rid of these pre-installed apps. But this has changed with iOS 10. Now you can. Long press on an app icon to get it jiggling and hit the spot marked X to get rid of it.

Unread Mail Filter

Bothered by unread email lying around and want to deal with it? The new update makes it possible to summon up unopened mail in a bunch for actioning on. Simply fire up the Mail app and tap on the wee little circular icon at the bottom left of the screen. This will present you all Unread mail you have in the inbox. You can use this trick in any mail folder you want. Similarly, you can also filter flagged, with attachments, VIP classified, etc., emails. To get back to normal view, you need to tap the circular icon again.

Flashlight Intensity

There are times when you don’t need such a very bright flashlight. And there are times when you need maximum luminance. With the latest software update to the iPhone, you can tweak the intensity of its flashlight whenever you want. Swipe up to get Control Center onscreen. Now 3D Touch on the Flashlight icon. You will find three (bright, medium and low) lighting intensity settings here. Just select the one you find appropriate for the situation.

(The author is a personal tech writer)


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